Saturday, April 9, 2016

Ciao Bella Chocolate Mascarpone Gelato

We haven't really covered Ciao Bella much since their re-branding in 2014. Nick got some samples when it happened but it's been quiet on our side since then. Part of that is because I just don't see it that much of it anymore. I see it at whole foods where they charge too much (for pretty much everything) and a few faux pints here and there, but nothing dominating like we see out of the other premium players. That said, there has always been one pint that catches my eye but I've been ignoring it until now. $3.99** has bought me....

Ciao Bella Chocolate Mascarpone Gelato
(chocolate gelato swirled with mascarpone gelato)

Bummer. I'll have to get through a few freezer burned bites first because the lid wasn't on quite right (the one next to it was even worse).

Getting past the crunchy stuff, I dig in and it tastes like every other vanilla chocolate combo I have ever had. The mascapone vibe is super weak so let's try just it by itself. Yeah, whoa, that's mild. Super mild. There is a pleasant sweetness to it, but the flavor is very mild.

The chocolate side is fine but has a bite of.... chocolate liqueur to it shall we say. I know this gelato just uses straight cocoa powder as an ingredient, but there is something there. The point is it's best to get a bit of both on your spoon so that they enhance each other.

I really didn't expect this one to be so subtle. Add in that bit of weirdness from the chocolate and I can't say I would recommend this one, at least not at the usual $5.69 price tag. It's not bad, but the flavor should be way more distinct for a high end product like this.

On Second Scoop: After three servings the faux pint is finally gone and I can't say I will miss it. Even letting the texture slide because I may have gotten an iffy pint, the flavor isn't there and it really needs to be. You are selling this on chocolate mascarpone with no mix-ins, and neither chocolate or mascarpone brings what it should. The chocolate is of higher quality, but it leans in to a bit of weirdness. The mascarpone is just so immensely mild that it's not really there. It's more of an anti-chocolate than anything. Maybe you dig that, but I wanted to think canolli, not hoodsie cup.

**Note: ofcourse, after finally spying this on sale at Whole Foods, my local Market Basket just started to carry Ciao Bella... for $3.99. It's a single shelf and they don't have a ton of flavors, but I will keep an eye on it and pick something up from time to time

Verdict?  nothing special
Buy Again? nope


ibagoalie said...

I have tried different flavors and for some odd reason they all have the same weird aftertaste. I don't know how to describe it, but it's not pleasant.

Unknown said...

Something to be said for keeping it simple. They could have gone full Tiramisu.

Dubba Scoops said...

@ibagoalie: in a few months I will try another flavor, lots of other things I want to get to first.

@Josh: I tend to agree, but you have to execute simple well. Either they didn't quite get there or it's too sophisticated for me :)